Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Every time we pass by a daycare center in our area, where children are outside running around & climbing upon playground equipment, I hear a wee voice from the back seat of my car uttering, "I go there." 

Talk about a punch to the gut. 

I believe deep down in my heart of hearts that we have made the right decision for our family-- by choosing for me to stay home with our babies. But with that said, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that every time I hear those small words coming softly from behind me, that I don't begin to question that very decision a hundred times over in my head. 

Should I put him in preschool? Should I enroll him in some program a couple of days a week? Does he need more interaction with kids? Does he need space away from me?  Is he lagging socially? Does his developing mind need more than I can offer him? Is staying home with my kids really the right decision in the grand scheme of things?

As moms, we all do it--question our decisions, second guess ourselves, look around at other moms & wonder if the way they are juggling it all is perhaps a better way than our own--perhaps the right way. 

I think it's good every once in awhile, to question & second guess myself. It allows for me to look deep within & weigh what I believe in my heart to be true. It causes me to look at my children & see things from their eyes, rather than assuming my way is best. It broadens my point of view on our family decisions & shows me where I should alter them when needed. Just because I thought something was going to work for our family way back before I ever had children {or even six months ago, for that matter}, doesn't necessarily mean it works for our family as of now. Nothing is set in stone. Everything can be changed & modified if it needs to be. 

Challenging my own ideas & beliefs also spurs something else inside me. It sometimes causes me to realize that if I already know it in the depths of my soul to be true, then to stop right there. Quit second guessing. Quit over-analyzing. Quit comparing. Quit beating myself up over a decision I know feels right in my gut. There are things I do know without a doubt I am doing right--and not some other mom's standard of right, either. My right.

Being a stay at home mom, having my kids home with me day in & day out-- it's right for us. And even though a comment from my sweet boy saying he'd rather be spending his days somewhere else & not at home with me {in so many words} can sure send a dagger of insecurity straight through my heart, it doesn't change what I hold to be true for our family. So for now, what right looks like for us at this very moment, is a momma that stays home with her babes. No daycare. No programs. No preschool. Not at two & a half. Not just yet. We'll tweak it when it feels right.

Glad that's settled.

Except...I still had on my hands a little dilemma. A little boy begging from the backseat to go to daycare & a momma not budging on her beliefs for her family.

What to do? What to do?

Insert "A-ha!" moment.

Momma just so happens to have access to the best daycare on the face of this earth {or so I think}. And I'm talkin' V.I. P. access, baby.

So Friday morning, we loaded up bright & early & we set out on an adventure to drop in on daycare. 

Marlene's Munchkins, here we come!

Jett was so excited. He talked about kids & toys & "Maw-neen" the entire two hour drive. But I'm pretty sure my excitement trumped his as we took that last turn & pulled onto Marlene's street. All of a sudden, a big grin spread across my face, giddiness filled up my insides & I was flooded with memories of my college days & the numerous times I had pulled up to Marlene's, ready for a two or three hour work shift. 

Calling it work never did seem right. While many of my friends groaned & grumbled about their pud, part time college jobs, I knew mine rocked. I knew I had landed a good gig & not once did I envy a single soul. Working at Marlene's never felt like work. It felt like fun. It felt like family. It felt like home. 

After all these years, still does.

Some things never change.

And speaking of some things never changing, let me just venture off on that topic for a bit.

We'll start with Marlene. The woman doesn't age. I'm not kidding. Years can go by & she remains the same adorable, put together, amazing woman she's always been. She became like a second mother to me in my years of working for her. She counseled during spats between girlfriends, she hugged tightly when she saw my heart hurting & she cried tears alongside me & offered words of wisdom when I seemed to need it most. I find when I'm in her presence, her "mothering" as she always called it--it still feels so comforting to me. I have always loved her dearly & that, for sure, is never going to change.

Daycare is still trucking along in the exact same fashion, as well--lunch around 11:30, everyone on their mats for nap shortly after, stinky diapers outside in the back trashcan, two college girls gently rocking babies in oversized recliners, children in the living room waiting for parent pick-ups around 4:30. Daycare looks just exactly the same as it always has...& I love that.

Wait a second. Let me backtrack. Daycare didn't look exactly the same as it always has on this particular day. There was one slight difference I noticed on our visit this time. Daycare seemed just a tad sweeter than it ever has before. That's because this time, it was my babies that Marlene was snuggling close to her. This time it was my children that she bounced on her lap & played puzzles with on the floor. This time it was my kiddos that she kissed the cheeks of.

Out of all the children I have seen Marlene love throughout the years, I must admit, my favorite sight was seeing her love on mine.

We closed daycare down that day. We said good-bye to each child who had so warmly welcomed Jett & Lulla onto their turf for the day & then we finally gave hugs & kisses to our Marlene before setting out on the road again.

And on the way home, right before little man drifted off from his adventurous day, he uttered from the back seat, "I go there again". And this time, for the first time, my heart didn't feel the pang it usually does. This time, I was able to utter right back to him from the front seat, "Oh, we'll definitely be going back there again." 

Thank you, Marlene {& all of Marlene's Munchkins} for making my Jett's daycare dreams come true. We will be back--& soon. 


  1. When I get the time to read your blog it makes me smile...You always seem to address things that all of us moms go thru daily. I am glad you were able to make his dream come true in a place you felt so at home with :)

  2. So jealous! Next time you plan a trip to see Marlene, let me know and I want to pack up Parker and Andrew and head out with you! Ohhhh...that brings back so many memories!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. It's refreshing to hear about a mom who is happy staying with her babies all the time!!! It has been a struggle for me to decide about sending mine to a few hours to mother's day out. We decided to do it, but I totally respect your opinions to keep Jett at home!!! I still don't like leaving my baby ever!!! They grow up too fast :)